What to Expect in an Australian Graduate Program
Planning to study overseas in Australia? Australian graduate programs focus more on independent learning and research than you may find at North American institutions. If you like the idea of specialising in your field of education, having the freedom to learn independently and enjoy debating issues with your fellow students, then the Australian system is for you.
Features of Australian graduate programs are:
In the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed as is the academic calendar.
First semester: February to May
Second semester: July to December
Graduate degrees tend to be shorter in Australia. Master's by coursework degrees can be completed in one to two years; master's by research degrees in two years and PhDs in three years.
You will find the academic culture a bit different. Key features are:
Fewer class hours than in the US and Canada
Focus on research
The teaching style is generally informal and professors are addressed by their first names. There is not a culture of graduate teaching assistantships so you will be taught (or research with) Australian academics and researchers.
Teaching takes the form of lectures followed by smaller group seminars or tutorials. You will be required to participate in group work.
Testing and Examinations
In master's by coursework degree programs, you will be assessed by written essays as well as a major thesis of original research. There is little grade inflation - (it takes extra effort to achieve a 70 or higher). Research degrees are assessed by the completion of a major thesis.